Career criminal arrested in Polk Co. - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Career criminal arrested in Polk Co.

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Following his arrest Sanders told detectives that he receives assistance from the government to make ends meet. Following his arrest Sanders told detectives that he receives assistance from the government to make ends meet.
LAKE WALES, FL (WFLA) - Authorities in Polk County have arrested a 31-year-old career criminal on retail theft and credit card fraud charges.

Henry Earl Sanders, a Lake Wales resident when he’s not behind bars, is being held on a bond of $15,500 at the Polk County Jail.

According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report detectives with the department’s Organized Retail Crime Unit took the suspect into custody on Wednesday. Following the arrest several other law enforcement agencies came forward to link Sanders to similar crimes in the area.
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He is charged with one count of felony retail theft, two counts of credit card fraud and one count of burglary to a conveyance.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is relieved the suspect is off the street.

“Mr. Sanders has not learned his lesson. He has earned his way back to prison,” Judd said of Sanders’ latest run-in with law enforcement. “Let's hope he stays in jail until he gets his day in court, and is then held accountable for his crimes. We can't afford to have him unsupervised in the community.”

On Wednesday Sanders walked into the Wal-Mart located at 7450 Cypress Gardens Blvd. in Winter Haven, selected a blue Florida Gators tote bag, and then proceeded to the baby section of the store where he loaded the bag with infant clothing hiding it in the tote bag.

Investigators say he exited the store, past all points of sale, without paying for the merchandise. All of this was caught on surveillance cameras.

PCSO detectives stopped the car Sanders was riding in a short time later to investigate. The suspect admitted to taking the tote bag, clothes and concealing the items from store employees on his way out the door.

The property was recovered from the vehicle and returned to the store.

Sanders was charged with a felony due to two previous theft convictions in 2003 and 2004.

When the Lake Wales Police Department learned about Sanders’ arrest, they additionally charged him with Burglary and Illegal Use of a Credit Card because he stole a purse out of a car in Lake Wales on March 19. Investigators say he later used the stolen credit card to buy gas and cigarettes at a convenience store on Highway 60.

That crime was also captured by surveillance cameras.

The Winter Haven Police Department also added to Sanders' list of charges by filing a retail theft charge stemming from an incident at a Bealls store on Tuesday.

Once again the man was caught on tape putting on a Nike shirt and shorts in a store dressing room. After he left the store without paying for the items he was questioned by a Bealls loss prevention employee in the parking lot. Sanders took off the shirt, handed over the shorts and fled on foot before law enforcement arrived.

Sanders was identified as a suspect the next day. Additional charges against Sanders may be filed as the investigation continues.

Sanders has served four stints in the state prison system in the past decade and has been charged previously with 23 felonies and 20 misdemeanors. He’s also been arrested in New York and Alabama.

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